The Cave of Dragonflies forums

Go Back   The Cave of Dragonflies forums > Non-Pokémon > Serious Business

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 05-22-2014, 04:11 AM
Ether's Bane Ether's Bane is offline
future Singaporean
 
Join Date: June 24, 2008
Location: Land of Apocalypse & Solitude
Posts: 2,064
Pronoun: he
Ether's Bane is an unknown quantity at this point
Send a message via Skype™ to Ether's Bane
Default "What if I don't find X offensive?"

I'll give you the scenario.

Person from Privileged Group (PfPG): "X is offensive. It's highly insensitive and damaging to people from Non-Privileged Group Y. After all, most people in Not-Privileged Group Y think it is."
Person from Non-Privileged Group Y (PfNPGY), whom X pertains to: "I don't find it offensive at all, actually."
PfPG: "You shouldn't say things like that if you are among the privileged group."
PfNPGY: "I'm not. In fact, I'm actually in non-privileged group Y, so it does, in fact, pertain to me."
PfPG: "Oh. Well, in that case..."

I'll cut it off here for now.

On the Internet, I have seen many people who espouse social justice (in its myriad forms; some prefer to attack the problems differently than others) who differ on how PfPG ought to respond. When it comes down to it, most people who believe in social justice (and I sincerely hope that includes us) have a response that falls into one of two camps. (I've even seen blogs and stuff which reblogs/likes/whatevers both camps' responses, and only a few psots apart, too, so I'm very confused about all of this.)

The responses are:

Camp A: "Since you are in Non-Privileged Group Y, only you have complete authority on your situation as to whether you find it offensive. Maybe some in your group don't; maybe you do. As the non-privileged person, it's up to you."
Camp B: "No. I'll call you out for this just as I would anyone else. You have internalized Problematic Philosophy Z (e.g., racism/sexism/homophobia/transphobia/etc.) to such an extent that you don't even care when your own group is being oppressed, and you are harming your own group, whom you ought to be fighting for the rights of."

Which camp do you fall in, and which camp do you believe one should fall in?

(As an aside, here's the reason for my making this thread.

I was firmly in Camp A, until about a month ago. My mom got a text containing a ton of misogynistic jokes, and she actually found them funny. I was astonished and asked her, "Mom, don't you find those offensive?" And she said, "No, I'm not offended. After all, we've got to laugh at ourselves sometimes, right?" And in my mind, I thought, Well, since I'm male and she's female, she should get the right to decide what she finds offensive as far as misogyny is concerned. But then, at the same time, I also thought, But still... really? Just... really?

Then, about a week later, I heard my brother talking to his friends over Skype and tossing around a bunch of racial slurs. (Note: He's a PoC, as are all his friends.) After he was done, I asked him, "Was it really necessary to use all those slurs?" And he responded, "It's all in good humour. My friends aren't offended by them. Actually, they use racial slurs on me as well, and I'm not offended, either." And then, my thoughts started debating again. On one side, I thought, They're all PoCs. They should be allowed to choose what they consider to be offensive. However, I also thought, Still, is this really a good idea?

So now, I'm really torn between both camps, and also wondering about this stuff, hence the creation of this thread.)
__________________
T-U-M-B-L-R

Last.fm


Quote:
VRISKA: Are you coming or what!
ARANEA: Yes, please come! I was a8out to 8egin one final story 8efore we reach the treasure!
JOHN: oh holy shit another story? i'm there!!!
JOHN: sorry aradia, i'd love to keep chatting, but you heard the lady. it's story time again.
SOLLUX: w0w aradia, y0u actually sent the guy running t0 hear a serket st0ry.
SOLLUX: that was a REALLY impressive creep 0ut j0b, nice.
ARADIA: :(


Lemmy Kilmister
1945-2015
R.I.P.

\m/
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-22-2014, 05:04 AM
Phantom's Avatar
Phantom Phantom is offline
Uh, I didn't do it.
 
Join Date: June 12, 2010
Location: United States
Age: 27
Posts: 4,148
Pronoun: She
Phantom is on a distinguished road
Send a message via Skype™ to Phantom
Default Re: "What if I don't find X offensive?"

I think that everyone needs to chill the hell out.

Honestly, in real life no one is exactly the same as another person. It's impossible to try to please everybody. Guess it's camp A for me.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-22-2014, 11:09 AM
ultraviolet's Avatar
ultravioletMOD ultraviolet is offline
:V
 
Join Date: June 24, 2008
Location: buttstralia
Age: 26
Posts: 3,791
Pronoun: she
ultraviolet is on a distinguished road
Default Re: "What if I don't find X offensive?"

  • It's about context! I have seen Jews make Holocaust jokes because they personally don't find them that offensive. This doesn't make jokes about the Holocaust universally and concretely okay; obviously plenty of Jewish people find the Holocaust offensive. But I'm not going to stop Jewish people from making those jokes. I'm not Jewish, so I don't really feel like I have any right to tell them what is offensive, and I'm not going to then think 'well, these Jewish people think it's okay' and pull out my best jokes about Nazi Germany.
  • There is also the difference in who is telling the joke. Me and one of my best friends make stupid jokes about women all the time and say things like 'god, women are so emotional' or 'look at that mistake you made, clearly you need to go back to the kitchen'. We're both women and have legitimately experienced misogyny like this. But coming from another woman who is also your best friend changes the context and meaning of the joke! When we say things like 'haha lol, make me a sandwich', we're not actually using sexism to dismiss our opinions, we're just making fun of each other. The reason why those jokes would usually be offensive is because traditionally men who make those jokes are in a position of power and oppression. As we're both women making these jokes to each other, it doesn't have the same gravity and changes its meaning. It would probably be offensive if a guy we weren't close friends with said those things (or even any dude, really).
  • It's important to consider your own context when you consider these things. I'm white, so I feel like I don't really have the right to tell any POC what's racist or whether they should use slurs. They might not be especially pleasant, but I'm not the focus of these slurs - for example, calling me a n***a means literally nothing to me because it's not a slur that's followed me around for my entire life and been used against me and is part of an oppressive culture against me. It's not my place to tell POC what's racist, because I am not part of a racial minority. Am I going to tell someone off for being racist or saying racist things? Probably. But lots of cultural minorities have reclaimed slurs and they occupy different meanings in that context, so I'm not going to tell them to stop using them; it's not my place.
  • I feel like it's also important to note that there's not one inherently correct way to go about this that will apply in all situations. It's good that you're recognising that a woman probably has more understanding and experience of misogyny than a man. I don't think it's really appropriate to try and correct someone if they're enjoying a private joke that they don't think is offensive.
this is all different though if you witness someone being on the receiving end of misogyny, racism, etc. and they're obviously not enjoying it. call that shit out, that's gross.

I dunno. I don't particularly feel like infighting and telling minorities what they should be offended by is an especially useful or productive thing to do. nobody is obliged to fight for their rights if they don't want to (many don't, for various reasons), so I don't exactly see much point in it. There is also the fact that there are tons of white bored teenagers on the internet that love a good witchhunt, and social justice (like any other community) isn't exempt from that. but that's a different discussion, i think.
__________________
nidoqueen
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-23-2014, 04:54 AM
pathos's Avatar
pathos pathos is offline
doot doot
 
Join Date: July 4, 2010
Age: 19
Posts: 2,534
Pronoun: It/Him
pathos is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: "What if I don't find X offensive?"

I'm really tired atm so let's see how much sense I can make.

I'm in camp A, and I'll explain the situations you were in. Your mom absolutely has the right to find misogyny funny; this is often internalized sexism, whatever, it's her choice of how she lives her life and for sure a guy shouldn't be telling her otherwise. Since you're family, it's different - you could have an honest conversation about how you feel about it and stuff - but yaknow, that's different and bla bla.

Anyhow - in general a lot of people in minority groups will go along with the jokes and slurs of privileged groups because it makes them fit in. Not even as a conscious choice, it just seems like the automatic thing, like obviously the jokes are funny because duh x group is less than y group! That's just how you're raised to think from childhood so the jokes are funny to you. ... That's probably not really what this is about but. Okay but my point is, you shouldn't be confronted about that by the privileged party here. It just doesn't really work.

With regards to your brother, poc often reclaim slurs, so I doubt they were using them derogatorily.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-23-2014, 05:04 PM
Butterfree's Avatar
Butterfree Butterfree is offline
Still loves Joltik, though!
 
Join Date: June 22, 2008
Location: Iceland
Age: 28
Posts: 2,461
Pronoun: she
Butterfree is on a distinguished road
Send a message via MSN to Butterfree
Default Re: "What if I don't find X offensive?"

It's really not men's job to call women out on their internalized sexism, or white people's job to call people of color out on internalized racism, or whatever. Calling out the privileged group from your also privileged position is being a good ally; calling out marginalized people for what you see as participating in their own marginalization tends to be annoying at best.

You could raise the issue with someone else in the marginalized group, and if they agree with you they might decide to call them out. But it's too easy for privileged people to self-righteously decide they know better what's best for marginalized groups than they do, and it's generally not good allyship to contribute to that.
__________________
Butterfree's Current Obsession
Ace Attorney, a series of visual novels about lawyers that I will never stop adoring.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-24-2014, 12:38 AM
Ether's Bane Ether's Bane is offline
future Singaporean
 
Join Date: June 24, 2008
Location: Land of Apocalypse & Solitude
Posts: 2,064
Pronoun: he
Ether's Bane is an unknown quantity at this point
Send a message via Skype™ to Ether's Bane
Default Re: "What if I don't find X offensive?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterfree View Post
It's really not men's job to call women out on their internalized sexism, or white people's job to call people of color out on internalized racism, or whatever. Calling out the privileged group from your also privileged position is being a good ally; calling out marginalized people for what you see as participating in their own marginalization tends to be annoying at best.
Actually, I'm not white, but I get your point.
__________________
T-U-M-B-L-R

Last.fm


Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom View Post
Funny story involving swears. Friend of mine with a dirty mouth was getting owned in soccer. The ref threatened to red card him if he swore again. Very next play he hits the ball out of bounds, starts yelling "SHI-" then catches himself and finishes "-TAKE MUSHROOMS!" He got red carded.


Lemmy Kilmister
1945-2015
R.I.P.

\m/
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-24-2014, 02:45 AM
Flora's Avatar
Flora Flora is offline
Captain Husbando
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Cornfields, PA
Age: 23
Posts: 5,842
Pronoun: she
Flora is on a distinguished road
Default Re: "What if I don't find X offensive?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ether's Bane View Post
Actually, I'm not white, but I get your point.
I think that might've been a generalized thing. But then, I'm not Butterfree, so I can't really answer that.

Anyways, my view: those in a non-privileged group can find particular things non-offensive. Groups aren't hive minds; what one woman/PoC/LGBT-individual/insert-minority-group-member-here finds offensive, another may not! And if you're not part of that group, it's really not your place to tell someone to be offended/unoffended by something.

That being said, I think it would be a reasonable exception to ask that someone in the same minority group as you not use certain terms to refer to you, if that makes sense?

(Example: not that I've ever heard a woman say this, but if a girl were to call me "a female" in a case where she would've used "a man" or "a guy" I think it would be reasonable to go "hey could you not, cause using female as a noun rubs me the wrong way" (I can go into detail on that but it's offtopic), but if she was referring to anyone else as "a female" then I would probably not think that appropriate.)
__________________
Everyday I'm tumblin'
Eifie is somehow at fault for the usertitle (hint: my boyfriend is Captain Waifu)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-25-2014, 01:23 AM
Nira's Avatar
Nira Nira is offline
you cannot have my pain
 
Join Date: November 1, 2011
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
Age: 18
Posts: 2,677
Pronoun: they
Nira is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: "What if I don't find X offensive?"

I don't have much to say on this, and I'm sort of pressed for time right now, so here goes nothing.

If you are in the privileged group, you should not be allowed to tell other people what they can and can't say about the under-privileged group! I mean, if they're just being a downright asshole on someone's character, that's different, but actual insults to the under-privileged group itself should be dealt with by the under-privileged group itself! You're not in any place of authority to be telling people what they shouldn't say about a group that you aren't even part of.
__________________
"I ask not that you forgive me. Nor that you even understand. I ask only that you read or listen to these words. In this record, I hold nothing back. I will try not to shy away from difficult topics, or paint myself in a dishonestly heroic light."
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-05-2014, 07:19 PM
norblarchoop's Avatar
norblarchoop norblarchoop is offline
Always~learning
 
Join Date: March 18, 2012
Location: a short walk from reality
Posts: 84
Pronoun: any
norblarchoop is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: "What if I don't find X offensive?"

I'll make my own camp.

Nothing is offensive, except in how it hurts people who hear it. Not everyone is sensitive to the same things.

To give an extreme example of this, I'm a white kid who hangs out with black kids sometimes. Well, in a group of kids about 40% white 60% black. Its stoner culture, is the point. We all call each other niggers, is the other point.

You know. 'Sup nigga how y'all doin?" stuff like that.

Needless to say, how me and my friends talk together is NOT how we would talk to anyone we didn't know well. That being said, we none of us find our attitudes offensive. The key is to be cautious in how you address people. Stuff only starts being offensive when it is used in a hateful or disrespectful manner. Actual hateful/discriminatory actions are much worse than merely talking crudely.

So essentially, I believe that everyone is allowed to do whatever they want as long as it doesn't offend a large number of people repeatedly.
__________________
Good Health-
Norblarchoop
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 07:42 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Pokémon, Pikachu and all other Pokémon characters © Nintendo, Game Freak and Creatures Inc. The Cave of Dragonflies, content, styles, etc. © Butterfree/Dragonfree/antialiasis.
Forum now hosted by Eevee's HQ.